Libraries are amazing places. They are the sort of places where children can discover new worlds, of both the fictional and the real kind, and where people of all ages can uncover amazing stories and fascinating facts.
As technology has developed, so too have the habits of their customers, and the offerings they expect to find.
I don’t think I would be wrong in saying Napier Libraries has been one of our best loved community facilities.
Things changed in mid-2017, when the Library building was closed because it was deemed an earthquake risk, and the main library relocated to the MTG Hawke’s Bay building.
It’s exciting to now be able to share a plan for the Library and Civic area, asking you, the community, what you would like to see in the area once home to our Library and Civic building.
Having the right facilities in the right places can help us feel that sense of connection, and belonging to where we live. This is an opportunity for all of us to have a say in creating something that can enhance our city.
It has become increasingly quiet in this part of town and it would be so nice to see it come alive again. We’re consulting on this until the 15th of October, so please visit sayitnaper.nz and share your ideas.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank those of you – and there were hundreds - who responded to our Three Waters survey. The Government did not include community engagement in its consultation period, which finishes this week, but we have been concerned about the loss of local voice. You can find out more about our views in this edition.
Spring is a time of new beginnings, new growth and the promise of a typical Hawke’s Bay summer to come.
While we know roughly when the seasons will come and go, COVID-19 is something that keeps on coming. It is unsettling, it can be uncomfortable not knowing what is coming next, but I urge you all to stand strong, support our local businesses, and each other.
If we support the Government’s target of 90 percent of the eligible population being fully vaccinated, this will also help our community and our city too.
I would like to finish with a whakatauki.
Me mahi tahi tātou mō te oranga o te iwi katoa
We work together for the wellbeing of everyone
Every day, our teams are out there working on ways to make our beautiful city even better! From revitalising playgrounds to road safety and water improvements, there is always something happening. To learn more about the projects we are working on, go to - Napier Projects.
The future of water services across the country is being considered as councils prepare their submissions to Central Government’s Three Waters Reform proposal by the deadline of 30 September.
For Napier, that means looking at the proposal in terms of six specific areas. These are the areas our Council feels present the biggest gaps, concerns and risks to the future of Three Waters service delivery under the proposed reform. The Government has proposed a new way of managing and governing three waters (stormwater, wastewater and drinking water) beginning in 2024.
Their proposal centres on moving control of three waters away from NZ’s 67 local councils and giving it to four new, centralised, entities. In the case of Hawke’s Bay, the government’s proposal puts us into ‘Entity C’, which would be made up of 21 councils.
Our response to the proposal suggests a better solution would be to have an entity made up of the local councils in Hawke’s Bay. This alternative would mean the water services entity for our area would include five councils.
Our concerns about what the Government is proposing include issues with the geographic boundaries and size of ‘Entity C’, the importance of having meaningful local voice in decision making, ensuring opportunity for mana whenua engagement, issues around asset ownership and responsibility under
the reform proposal, ability to meet changing regulations in the future and concerns with the assumptions the government’s proposal is modelled on.
Although Government did not include community engagement in their consultation period, we felt it was important.
We used two main ways for our community to share their views at this initial stage of the process. One was a survey that had nearly 800 respondents. Their main concern was around loss of local voice. We also ran a Facebook Live where people shared their views and asked questions. There will be more opportunities to be involved in this important issue later in the year. As the Three Waters Reform process continues we will keep you informed.
One is almost done, one is just getting started The Thames St/Pandora Road roundabout has taken most of the year to build, but is expected to be finished in the next few weeks.
Improved road safety for all and better travel times for vehicles heading to Napier Port have been the main motivations behind this $1.5 million project. The new layout will also help those wanting to access the Pandora industrial area, and give people who want to walk or bike safer options when using Pandora Road.
The busy York Ave/Auckland Road intersection is also getting a $320,000 makeover.
Between now and December, a miniroundabout and a new footpath will be constructed as part of the push to improve safety here. A hedge is also going to be planted on the nearby Girl Guides Hall property, as another way to encourage drivers approaching the roundabout to slow down.
I oversee a number of Council teams who work within the three waters space (drinking water, stormwater and wastewater).
This covers planning, growth, asset renewals, water quality, water safety, treatment and monitoring, and includes working with contractors and staff based at the depot.
A lot of what we do isn’t readily visible to the public.
I liaise with other Councils within Hawke’s Bay, and have to be across any changes to legislation, which is becoming stricter. Understanding what condition our infrastructure is in to meet legislative requirements is a big part of what I do.
A major focus at the moment is the Government’s Three Waters Reform proposals, helping Council work through what’s happening nationally with reform proposals and what it could mean for Napier and the wider region.
I like working for communities, helping them solve whatever their issues are. One thing I have found in each place I’ve worked is that these issues are unique to that place and time.
Community expectations are high, and so are those of Councillors who need solutions they can deliver for their communities.
I enjoyed science at school, and understanding how things work.
I went on to study for a Bachelor of Science, majoring in environmental technology, from the University of Waikato. In simple terms this meant studying what technology and practices could protect the environment, particularly important for big industry players wanting to minimise their environmental footprint.
I’ve worked for a mix of rural, regional and city councils. My first job after studying was in the Far North. I’ve also worked in Hamilton and the Waikato region, and spent 10 years in Central Otago before moving to Hawke’s Bay in 2019.
I’ve been able to take up surfing again, something I hadn’t been able to do since we moved south.
The beaches, and the weather, definitely. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, I’m proud to work with a great bunch of people who are looking out for the environment and the community.
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